Sunday, October 13, 2013


The currently ongoing Foster Farms chicken recall is now in 20 states and Puerto Rico. But California has been hardest hit. Not just raw chicken, but also cooked chicken products have been recalled. And a lot of California residents are not feeling very well.

As of last Friday (and don't expect the CDC to update numbers over the weekend with most of its staff on furlough)there have been 317 confirmed illnesses linked to the bad chicken. Of these, fully 73% (230 very unhappy people) live in California. Do we eat more Foster Farms chicken here? I doubt it. It probably has something to do with the distribution of the Salmonella chicken. After all, the three Foster Farms plants that produced these lots of poultry are located in Central California - two of them in Fresno. A good proportion of the products obviously ended up for sale close to home.

On top of this, we have a recall of supposedly fully cooked and "ready to eat" chicken by a COSTCO store in South San Francisco. COSTCO has had to recall 9,000 of its rotisserie Foster Farms chickens and related Kirkland Farms products such as soup, chicken salad and leg quarters. These products were reportedly sold at Costco’s South San Francisco store between Sept. 11 and Sept. 23.

Wait a minute...It is now October 13. The products were recalled yesterday - October 12. Do you really keep your chicken for 2-4 weeks? Clearly this is another case of "recalling" what we have already eaten... A recorded message at the COSTCO warns customers to discard or return any leftovers of the Foster Farms chicken products and aplogizes "for the inconvenience this may have caused." Great. Thanks a lot.

While we are at it, the symptoms of this common type of food poisoning are usually diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. But you could also have a headache, muscle cramps, vomiting, chills and even blood in your stool. Usually you become ill within three days of eating the a contaminated product. People who are healthy and fit, would normally take longer to become ill than those who are elderly, young or not in good health.

So if you are worried that you may have eaten it two weeks ago, but are feeling fine, relax....

To your good health,

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